Posted by: Jerry Garrett | May 16, 2017

Driving My Mercedes To Italy – Day 4

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 5.45.09 PMMANZANILLO, Mexico

Has anyone seen this ship?

This is a stock photo of the Duesseldorf Express that I am hoping doesn’t mind me borrowing here.

It was supposed to have docked in the port at Manzanillo about an hour ago.

I’m interested in its progress, because my 1973 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL is loaded in a container on it. I hope the container isn’t one of those right on top, almost dangling over the edge. I guess it’s not unheard of to lose a few of those during rough voyages.

I haven’t had any real solid information on the ship’s whereabouts for the last couple of days. That’s when it churned out of radar range south of Ensenada, Mexico, a day after leaving the port in Los Angeles. It’s en route to Genoa, Italy, where I will pick it up. says it received a radar contact with the ship this morning, about six hours before it was due to arrive in Manzanillo. But it’s location wasn’t updated again in the intervening 6-7 hours. Fleetmon says it will tell me more information if I pay them some money – all major credit cards accepted – but no thanks.

It’s enough to know that the Duesseldorf Express was apparently on schedule, and zooming right along (south-southeast not far off the coast of Mexico’s mainland). Every time I have caught up with it, the data shows it is making a little over 20 knots – which seems pretty darn fast. I’ve traveled these waters in a cruise ship, and at 14 knots, it was wallowing around enough to make the average landlubber sorry they overdid it at the all-you-can-eat midnight sushi buffet.

At those speeds, the ship is traveling about 400 nautical miles a day.

The journey from Los Angeles to Manzanillo is a little over 1,200 nautical miles, according to Madsen Maritime guide. So, if the Duesseldorf Express is indeed in Manzanillo today, it’s almost halfway to the Panama Canal (about 2,600 nautical miles from port of L.A.).

And from Panama to Genoa, well, that’s a bunch more miles. I haven’t quite figured that one out yet. But it is 4,351 nautical miles from the canal exit to the Straight of Gibraltar junction point beacon, and about another 800 nautical miles from there to Genoa.

That makes the whole trip about 7,800 nautical miles.

CORRECTION: In my initial post about my Mercedes on the High Seas, I said the shipping costs were $1,800. The cost is actually $1,400, because I subtracted $400 for insurance from that amount, since I was able to get a different policy from Hagerty.

So that costs out to something like 17 cents a mile? That’s the cheapest I’ve ever been able to take that car anywhere.

Jerry Garrett

May 16, 2017



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